Dupe but I don't know why people get upset by her running. She's unelectable.
Hilary Clinton on a roll in bid for White House
SENATOR Hillary Clinton kept her counsel during her first two years in the United States Senate, learning the ropes and avoiding more controversy than a controversial former First Lady-turned-politician in her own right was likely to face.
Since then, and particularly since last year's election, she has begun to speak out, signalling her determination to lead the debate over the future of the Democratic party and use that as a stepping stone towards winning the party's 2008 presidential nomination.
Her efforts have been so successful that she is now the immovable obstacle any rival candidate for the presidency must manoeuvre round to win the Democratic nomination.
Three years ahead of the election she dominates the field and "is in the strongest position any non-incumbent presidential candidate has ever been in the modern history of the Democratic party" according to party strategist Chris Lehane.
"She has it," says Ray Buckley, vice-chairman of the New Hampshire Democratic party and an influential player in a key early primary state. "Some people don't, some people do."
Speaking this week to the Democratic Leadership Council's (DLC) annual conference, Clinton presented herself as a centrist capable of uniting the left and right wings of the Democratic party.
It was "high time for a ceasefire" between moderates and liberals, she said. "All too often we have allowed ourselves to be split between left, right and centre." THIS is what to watch. She's re-making her image to be a Centrist (yeah, I know the cunt is Socialst to her core) but Joe Sixpack has the memory of a fruit fly)
She complained that President George Bush's administration and the Republican Congress had turned "our bridge to the 21st century into a tunnel back to the 19th century" before arguing that the Democrats' "clear mission is to back us out of that Republican tunnel, fill it in, go back across the bridge and get America back in the business of building dreams".
The rhetoric may have been less than inspiring, but the message was clear: middle America had little or nothing to fear from the prospect of a Hillary candidacy.
Clinton was treading a familiar path. Her husband used the DLC as a stepping stone towards winning the party's 1992 presidential nomination.
Like Hillary, Bill Clinton argued that America needed to look to the future, not the past, and took a tough line on a number of liberal shibboleths, such as welfare and the culturally corrosive impact of violent and sexually suggestive rap lyrics. His wife has emulated that strategy, repeatedly criticising the graphic violence and sexual content of popular video games such as Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
Last month, she even appeared on the same platform as former House speaker Newt Gingrich to discuss healthcare reform. Speaking at the National Press Club in Washington DC, Clinton was determinedly upbeat. She said: "My hope, my sense, is that we are at the end of a 40-year cycle of bitterness. I have spent enough of my life fighting.
"It would be nice to spend some time constructing, and I think there's a feel in the country that's very similar."
Where John Kerry preached pessimism last year, or at least allowed himself to be portrayed that way, Clinton is determined to look to the future and create an optimistic vision of America's potential. She can do this because she has greater flexibility than her rivals.
She made it clear earlier this year that while a woman's right to an abortion was sacrosanct, that should not be interpreted as an endorsement of the number of abortions conducted each year.
"Usually, a candidate has to nail down the base and move to the centre after the nomination," says Marshall Wittmann, a former communications director for Senator John McCain, and now a member of the DLC. "She has the flexibility because she has so much affection from the base."
Some liberals, however, have been angered by Clinton's willingness to court the centre. "There has been an activist resurgence in the Democratic party in recent years, and Hillary risks ensuring that there's a candidate to her left appealing to those activists who don't much like the DLC," said Roger Hickey, of the Campaign for America's Future.
Ironically, criticism from the left helps Clinton with independent and moderate voters who dislike the excessive partisanship of Washington politics and distrust the extremes of both parties.
But Clinton's moderation will soon be tested, however. She faces an awkward decision in determining whether or not she should vote to confirm Bush's selection for the Supreme Court - John Roberts.
Any contender determined to challenge Clinton seems certain to do so as a financial underdog. Clinton is the most formidable fundraiser in the Democratic party, with an ability to raise money across the United States.
So far this year, for instance, she has raised more money in Republican Texas than Democratic California.
In the second quarter of this year she raised $6m - a remarkable figure 18 months before she is due to be comfortably re-elected in New York state.
If Clinton maintains her fundraising pace, she could have as much as $30m in the bank at the end of next year to be transferred to a presidential race.
One danger of being the front-runner this far from the election, however, is that it both gives her opponents plenty of time to organise counter-Clinton strategies and, perhaps more dangerously, allows Democrats time to become afraid of suffering from "buyer's remorse" in the event of a Clinton nomination. Initial favourites such as Gary Hart, in the 1988 race, and Edmund Muskie in 1972, have not always prospered.